It’s the time of year when many are making New Year’s Resolutions. Some may include goals such as “getting in shape”, “losing weight” or “living a healthier lifestyle.” These goals mean different things to different people, and living a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight and being able to participate in an active lifestyle are important to the majority of Americans. However, reaching these goals is no easy feat.
Maintaining a healthy weight is much more than working out or eating healthier. Often times, incorporating all aspects of your health care goes into ensuring your weight is where it should be and that you are reaching your healthy-lifestyle goals. This truly begins by visiting with your doctor, and taking advantage of the benefits offered as Preventive Care through your health insurance plan.
Preventive services must be covered through by all new health insurance plans as part of the 10 Essential Benefits under the Affordable Care Act, and only apply if you are receiving care from a network provider. Preventive services vary for adults, women and children and typically cover things such as screenings and shots. There is no cost to you.
What Is Covered for Adults?
A variety of screenings are available to adults and include the following screenings: HIV, blood pressure, cholesterol, alcohol, colorectal, abdominal aortic aneurysm (one-time) and type 2 diabetes, among others. Counseling services include diet, alcohol, smoking cessation and obesity, among others. Vaccines such as Hepatitis A & B, Influenza, Tetanus, Varicella and Human Papillomavirus as well as several other infectious diseases are also covered. Please note, this is not a comprehensive list.
What Is Covered for Women?
For women various screenings are available which vary from anemia screening for pregnant women and breast cancer screening with mammography to cervical cancer screening and osteoporosis screening. These benefits also include contraception and folic acid supplements for pregnant women, breastfeeding support and counseling as well as well-women visits. There are various other services covered and this is not a comprehensive list.
What About Children?
Both Autism and Behavioral screening are available at specific ages. Hearing screening and Hypothyroidism screening is available to all newborns, and vision screening is available to all children. Cervical Dysplasia screenings are available to those who qualify, and all adolescents can receive a depression screening. At-risk adolescents can receive HIV screening. Immunizations and vaccines are also available for all children from birth to 18-years-old and range from Influenza and Measles to the Rotovirus and Hepatitis A & B.
How Preventive Care Helps You Meet Your Goals
Regardless of your age, taking advantage of the benefits you can receive under the ACA’s Preventive Care list is the first step in achieving healthy lifestyle goals. While many of these services may not directly relate to losing weight or working out more, preventing disease and taking advantage of counseling services actually do increase your chances at meeting your health care goals, no matter what they are.
Do you have any questions about preventive care services? Have you signed up for a new health plan for 2015? Visit our HSA for America Guide to Open Enrollment page for important enrollment dates and deadlines. Our Advisors are available to help you with the enrollment process.
Wiley Long is President of HSA for America, and a passionate advocate for consumer-based solutions that will improve price transparency and lower health insurance and medical costs for people purchasing individual and family health insurance plans.